We are looking at a historic 1957 Corvette Race Car with the Rochester Fuel Injection system that was used for only about a year and during that year it was raced at Nassau, Daytona, and Sebring.
This article appeared in Vette Vues Magazine, October 2005 Issue.
Volume 34, Issue Number 3
This historical Corvette was on display at the 2008 Bloomington Gold Special Collection XXI. It was owned and showed by Joseph & Mary Beth Trybulec of Bentonville, AR.
- Work order 17792 created 3 special competition cars for 1957.
- Raced at Sebring, Daytona, and Nassau.
- Featured in Corvette News, Volume one, number one.
- Introduced fuel injection to the Corvette.
Here are some historical photos that were on display at the Bloomington Gold Corvette show.
Ed Cole’s decision to make the top-secret fuel injection system available for the 1957 model year required asking Zora Arkus-Duntov, who was in a body cast from an accident at the proving grounds, to help John Dolza, the fuel injection projects primary engineer, to finish on time.
Once the final design was chosen, a work order was submitted for a test run of units that eventually made their way to special test and race vehicles.
These fuel injection units were assembled with the best of components and were cold steel stamped starting with #101. At the same time, work order #17792 was submitted to assemble three special fuel-injected Corvette stock body race cars and called for five special engines.
1957 Corvette #775 is the only known survivor and has been a one-owner car for the past 47 years after its retirement from racing in 1958.
Built in November 1956, # 775 was fitted with the special fuel-injected work order engine and the following special race setup modifications: hardtop only, radio and heater delete, heavy-duty brakes with cooling ducts, 37-gallon center fill steel gas tank, RPO581 rear traction bar suspension, fast steering adapter, factory roll bar, special driver’s seat modifications, #4360 fuel injection unit (#132), and a shortened steering column.
Once the cars were assembled they were sent to Sebring to be tested and sorted by Dick Thompson.
After testing, the special new fuel injected Corvette race cars were shipped to Nassau, Bahamas for the December 7th Governors Trophy Races.
This was the introduction of fuel-injected Corvettes and is covered in Corvette News Volume 1, #1 featuring Corvette #775.
The Special factory team cars along with the Bill Mitchell SR2 were entered and Corvette placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the stock production overall standings.
After Nassau, the special fuel-injected Corvette race cars were sent to Smokey Yunick in Daytona for special preparation for the Feb. 1957 NASCAR Daytona Speedweeks held on the hot sands of Daytona Beach.
Corvette #775 was driven by Paul Goldsmith setting a new beach record over the measured mile course at 91.301 mph.
Paul followed this with the fastest time of 131.941 mph in the two-way flying mile, as featured and reported in the Corvette News article.
Paul Goldsmith is a five-time AMA Hall of Fame motorcycle champion, winning the Daytona 200 motorcycle race, the NASCAR Daytona 500 race, and placing 3rd at the Indy 500 auto race.
A new road course race was set to take place at nearby New Smyrna airport at the conclusion of the Speedweeks.
Ed Cole, determined to maintain his new Chevrolet / Corvette racing momentum sent Paul Goldsmith and the new Nassau/ Daytona fuel-injected Corvette #775 to strengthen competition against the new factory Ford Thunderbirds that were scheduled to run at New Smyrna.
Paul Goldsmith drove the #9 Nassau/Daytona Corvette to victory defeating the production Thunderbird, Jaguar XK140, and Mercedes 300SL.
The Nassau/Daytona Corvettes were then sent to SEDCO in Atlanta and then to Sebring to become the practice cars prior to the arrival of two newly prepared Corvettes.
After the Sebring race in March of 1957, #775 appears to have been sent to the Roy C. Ingersoll Research & Development Center in Palatine, Illinois for additional development of the Borg-Warner T-10 transmission.
In early 1958, the Nassau/Daytona Corvette #775 was retired and sold through Dick Doane Chevrolet to Erwin Rohrer of Park Ridge, Illinois, an engineer at Rockwell.
Erwin Rohrer owned the unrestored Nassau/Daytona/Sebring Chevrolet/Corvette factory team car for 47 years until purchased by Joe Trybulec in June 2004.
In 1961, the car was repainted gold over the original race colors of white with blue stripes and blue coves, and the original red interior was dyed black.
The 2005 Bloomington Gold Special Collection “Great Stories” is the debut event for the public to see this special unrestored Chevrolet Corvette special engineering factory team race car that introduced fuel injection to the Corvette.
Here are some other articles you might enjoy:
If you have never seen Vette Vues Magazine check out our Issue Preview and see what our subscribers are enjoying each month.
Vette Vues Magazine is jammed packed with Corvette information covering C1 to C8. Each monthly issue has features, reviews, tips, restorations, clubs, events, racing, auction results, model cars, classifieds, products, services, and more. Enjoy the latest Corvette news, as well as some great historical facts.